I hope that you are all continuing to keep safe and well during the Covid 19 Emergency that has affected all of our lives. Whilst I appreciate that table tennis continues to be low on your priorities at the moment I thought you would like an update from the League.
Before I turn to the future, I would like to assure you that the EC will take steps to ensure that no player will be out of pocket as a result of the aborted start to the envisaged 2020-21 season. Table Tennis England (TTE) has already made a derisory offer of a 50% reduction in [their] player affiliation fees for the 2021-22 season; but this has to be requested by players and will not be given automatically. As you would expect this has not been widely accepted with any enthusiasm and this League, along with many others, will make their views known up to and including TTE’s AGM. Once TTE’s final decisions, regarding fees for the aborted 2020-21 season and the forthcoming 2021-22 season, are set your EC will outline how we propose to recompense players via their Clubs for any 2020-21 fees paid.
You are probably aware that, following publication of the Prime Minister’s roadmap out of lockdown, table tennis is affected as follows:
29th March – outdoor table tennis is allowed in bubbles of six and, potentially, organised League table tennis could be played outdoors.
12th April – children and the disabled can play table tennis indoors in bubbles of 15.
17th May – indoor table tennis will be allowed in bubbles of six.
21st June – all restrictions listed and League table tennis allowed as usual.
More information on the path to resumption, can be found on the TTE website at https://tabletennisengland.co.uk/news/archived/coronavirus-update/. It goes without saying that this is an ever-changing situation and the Government’s roadmap and TTE advice may change at short notice. For that reason I have not attempted to reproduce any detailed guidance here as it may already be out of date. We strongly recommend that you check the website regularly for the latest advice.
Provided the Government’s roadmap sticks, the EC is planning for the 2021-22 season to start on Monday 13th September 2021 with the usual registration meeting taking place some two weeks beforehand. The full timetable to resumption will be prepared by the EC for publication in the early Summer. The 2021 AGM will be held live on Monday 12th July 2021 at a venue and time to be announced. In conjunction with the finalists, it is anticipated that the outstanding final of the 2019-20 Charles Stampe Trophy will be played as a season opener. It is impossible at this stage to plan the new season with any certainty until such time as we have up to date information of likely Club and Player involvement. Before we can go ahead with planning the new season, which will involve a lot of work for all of us, we will need assurances about Club and Player availability. Part of the reason for sending this note to you all, is to ask the following questions - please ensure you fully canvass your squads for their answers as well.
1. Do you intend to enter your Club into the MTTTL for the 2021-22 season?
2. If yes, are you confident that your venue will be available and fully Covid 19 compliant?
3. If yes, how many teams/players do you intend to enter?
4. If you intend to enter team(s), and using last season as an indicator, what strength [of team(s)] do you intend to enter?
Please note that, with a view to encouraging players to start playing again when we emerge from the lockdown, the EC’s decision to waive all MTTTL registration fees and County fees for the aborted 2020-21 season will be carried forward to the new season. This will also apply to any fees for tournaments or championships that the EC may arrange and to the Development League. Players must still ensure however, that they pay their own TTE fees; notwithstanding any decisions on fees for the 2020-21 season. It is important that we have this information by the end of June so that we can make realistic assumptions and plans for the new season and can consult with Clubs before any decisions are reached. Responses please to Gary Hentshel at email@example.com.
Gary would also like to hear from anyone interested in coming on to the EC. We are down to the bare bones now with only a handful of people able to fully commit to the League for the 2021-2022 season. Some aspects of the usual League season may not be possible without further help so please do what you can.
And, finally……a reminder to respond to the above questions please.
Please keep safe. We will meet to play again.